Author Archive | frank

Sweat box riding has never looked so good.

Anatomy of a Photo: Winter Sweat Box Ride

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I spent the entire winter doing morning Spanish Interval Sessions, wherein one dons all their winter riding kit (including wooly hat) before climbing aboard the turbo in a hopeless attempt to sweat themselves thin. The flaw in the method is less in its commitment and more in its lack of effectiveness, although the magnitude of the commitment feels…

The case for black socks...and orange patent leather shoes.

On Rule #28: The Case for Black Socks

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Science has proven that people who wear crazy socks are smarter than those boring snooze factories who wear simple plain socks. I know the data supporting the claims is legitimate because I read it on LinkedIn. Also, when I say “read”, I mean that I glanced briefly at the title while simultaneously performing several other critical…

The Machine of the Hour

Festum Prophetae: Waiting for the Hour

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Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. – Mike Tyson The one thing everyone should always plan for is that however well-conceived a program might be, things will never go to plan. The high level plan for my Festum Prophetae Hour Ride was as follows: Have a custom Hour Bike built by Don Walker. Because…

The way down should hurt as much or more than the way up. Photo: Jared Gruber

On Rule #93: The Throw Down

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The human mind is designed to forget how much things suck. That is a fact. If women had the capacity to retain meaningful data on how horrible things can be, there would be exactly zero families on the planet with more than one child. This has nothing to do with how wonderful children are; it has to do with…

Going Phantom Aero on the FMB naturals. Photo:

The Aesthete’s Choice: Boyaux Naturel

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Tradition and innovation are the two opposing edges that cut our evolution through the fabric of our sport. Tradition grounds us, while innovation ensures we advance ever forward. The problem with tradition is that it is comforting and familiar, often shielding us from adopting newer, improved practices and technology. The trouble with innovation is that its freshness can blind…

The joy of riding never wears off

Anatomy of a Photo: The Joy of the Ride

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Being the youngest in my family meant I spent a few long years staring at my older siblings’ bikes, wishing for the opportunity to grow up too fast and get to the prescribed age of being allowed to ride a bike. When the time finally came, my brother took me to the trail behind the house and…

Use the Five, Pedalwan.

On Rule #74: The Targeting Computer

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I could feel the power in my body as I breathed in the warm Spring air and pulled lightly on the handlebars; strength flowed from my lungs and shoulders into my chest, through my hips and down to my legs which churned over with alarming ease. With every change of gradient, I either stood on the pedals to maintain the…

Vittorio Adorni knew what Rule #9 really meant.

Anatomy of a Photo: Snowy Mountain Stages

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Vittorio Adorni taught Merckx how to manage himself during a Grand Tour. I wasn’t a part of any of those conversations, but I’m betting there were heavy conversations about not being a little bitch about bad weather, gravel roads, and high snowy mountain passes. This photo proves the entire modern peloton needs a giant Rule #5…

Even Kittel can't make this work.

The All-Red Onesie

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When it comes to personal style and charisma, Marcel Kittel is at the top of the food chain. Only a certain kind of genius admits on live television that the most stressful thing about racing a Grand Tour is having your hair gel confiscated by airport security. He also clearly has a mystical, Samsonesque power to his hair;…

The climber in a gorilla suit is a mysterious beast.

The Climber in a Gorilla Suit

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There is a force upon this world which governs all manner of voodoo and wizardry. This force ensures the streak in your windshield wiper is always precisely at eye level. It ensures that the phone call goes to voicemail just as you touch the “answer” button. It ensures that a product which you endlessly encountered but…

What has four thumbs and loves climbing in big gears? Those guys!

And the 39 Was Clean as a Whistle

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I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn’t it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur? We are getting soft… As for me, give me a fixed gear! — Henri Desgrange I like to think that any time a rider running a…

The most Rule #9 edition of LBL was in 1980.

Velominati Super Prestige: Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2016

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We were descending for a while before I saw Roche’s name painted on the road. It was one of those little bridges over a river that you only seem to find in the Benelux; just a little too ancient and just a little too arched, and just a little too perfectly flawed to be anywhere else.…

We need to be tough on and off the bike.

Cut Like a Buffalo

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Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour Rule suggests that mastering a skill comes down to an incredible amount of practice; however talented you might be, it is the cultivation of raw talent into skill that distinguishes between success and failure. To train is to practice, and every hour we spend devoted to our craft is one spent…

Why can the French not sort out their helmets?

Velominati Super Prestige: La Fleche Wallonne Femmes 2016

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Nothing magical happened in between us publishing the Men’s event ten minutes ago that somehow brought us another day for the VSP. I was really banking on a fissure in the space-time continuum but no luck. Seems a guy can’t catch a break. On the surface of it, I blame the fact that Gent Wevelgem…

The bunch climbs the Mur de Huy

Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s La Fleche Wallonne 2016

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Don’t these race organizers understand how confusing it is when races are held mid-week? It means we have to have to manage against unrealistic expectations like realizing what day of the week it is and then do the sums on how much lead time we want to give on the VSP. Which is obviously too…

Hayman fights back on the Carrefour. Photo: @harminator

You Can’t and You Don’t and You Won’t Stop

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Failure and success are destinations not often visible to the traveller. This is why it is nice to focus instead on the beauty of the journey and try not to be become overly fixated on any particular outcome. It is with some regret that I admit I didn’t invent this idea; there might be a few religions…

The brutal stones of Paris-Roubaix

Velominati Super Prestige: Paris-Roubaix 2016

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Every time I’ve ridden the Roubaix pavé, I’ve peed the next few days like I got VD from some dirty cobble. That might not really sell the non-believer on the pleasure of riding the sacred stones, but there truly is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. Here in Seattle, we have cobbled climbs and…


Test Drive Dummies

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Everyone knows it’s a great idea to change out pieces of equipment the day before a group ride, especially an honorary Ronde van Vlaanderen Cogal involving steep, cobblestone climbs. There is obviously also no need to test-ride the equipment after making said change. I remark at this point that it is rather unexpected to find an 11 speed…

That's a legitimate Pain Face right there.

Velominati Super Prestige: Men’s Ronde van Vlaanderen 2016

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Everybody knows there are two kinds of cobbles. Big cobbles, little cobbles, grippy cobbles, and slippy cobbles. And when it comes to mastering the stones, no one is better than the undisputed King of the Cobbles, Kenny Van Vlaminck. And speaking of cobble legends, there is a great piece on our friend Johan Museeuw over on…

Queen Lizzie leads the chasing group up the Oude Kwaremont

Velominati Super Prestige: Women’s Ronde van Vlaanderen 2016

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Has anyone checked the weather report for Sunday? Seriously. Have you checked? Wind. Rain. This. Is. Going. To. Be. EPIC. And you can all thank me for that because this is the year I chose not to head over there, naturally. I’m annoyed that we didn’t do a Women’s Gent-Wevelgem; we somehow missed it even though we…

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